Although we're inundated with sexual imagery everywhere in our society—from billboards and commercials to summer blockbuster films—the subject remains relatively taboo in the day-to-day life of most western countries. Although the legacy left by the sexual revolution is still felt in America. it’s still not exactly common to be upfront in casual conversation about personal sexual preferences, practises, and who’s involved. After all, these matters are usually quite personal so even if some of us have very few qualms about bringing up the subject at a party or with close friends, it's a safe bet that not all of those people are necessarily comfortable hearing about it.
Nobody knows this more than a politician. Whether a senator, congressperson, governor or otherwise it comes with the territory of the job that a politician's life is under a considerable amount of public scrutiny. As an elected servant of the people, those people tend to watch their every move in order to assess their appropriacy for the position. Are they married? Divorced? Do they have children? Do they have a history of drug use, or do they conduct themselves in a lewd manner? If married, are they faithful to their wife or husband? Despite views about the nuclear family, sex and monogamy becoming less and less traditional, the American public still seems a long way from adopting a 'laissez-faire' attitude to the sexual proclivities of their politicians.
Politicians are, almost by definition, upstanding citizens who are the poster-people of the country’s values, laws, and morals. So in the U.S. that means there's never any room for infidelity or untoward activity. After all, who could forget the nationwide furore when Bill Clinton's affair with Lewinsky became common knowledge? Based on sometimes indignant and often shocking reports from well-known news sources across America and abroad, we're taking a look at some examples of 'shocking' political sex scandals in the past decade. Were these incidents really worth the uproar they caused? Read on and decide for yourself.
6 Eric Massa - Inappropriate Tickling
Eric Massa, former representative of New York, resigned from his position after allegations of inappropriate conduct with members of his staff. According to Massa himself, there was nothing overtly sexual in his actions, but he does admit to using inappropriate language in addressing his staffers. It was reported that Massa admitted to Fox News' Glenn Beck that he had groped and tickled a member of staff 'until he couldn't breathe', although he later denied the groping.
5 Jack Ryan - A Sexless Scandal
The Illinois Republican Jack Ryan was forced to drop out of the 2004 race for senator when court documents revealed he brought his ex-wife, actress Jeri Ryan, to sex clubs. This was, the court documents reportedly reveal, in the hope of having sexual relations in a public setting.
4 David Wu - Alleged Encounter with a Teenager
3 Larry Craig - A Guilty Plea for “Lewd Conduct”
2 Mark Foley - Sex Messages to the Underage
1 Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Secret Lovechild
“I’ll be back.” Everybody knows this infamous quote from movie star Arnold Schwarzenegger in the film Terminator. In a way people probably didn't expect, he did indeed come back, this time as the Governor of California when he was elected in 2003, beating his opponent Greg Davis. In 2011, it was found out that Maria Shriver, Schwarzenegger’s wife, had hired a divorce lawyer in plans to end their 25-year marriage. The reason: Schwarzenegger’s affair with his maid and housekeeper, Mrs Baena, and the birth of his love child conceived during their affair.
Baena confessed to having Schwarzenegger’s child when his wife confronted her about secretly raising him. Eventually, having learned three years after the child’s birth that he was the father, Schwarzenegger himself admitted it when Baena threatened to go public with the news after she was let-go after 20 years of service. This was particularly scandalous given the Republican party's vocal stance in support of traditional family values.
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